Netflix has renewed “Cobra Kai” for a fifth season, months ahead of the Season 4 premiere. Bow to the streaming service.
Production on Season 5 will start this fall in Atlanta, Netflix said on Friday. As previously announced, “Cobra Kai” Season 4 will debut in December. That’s the season that will see the return of “Karate Kid III” baddie, Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith).
In “Karate Kid III,” Silver is introduced as the man who started the “Cobra Kai” dojo with John Kreese (Martin Kove). Silver is even more nuts than Kreese, and goes from being Daniel-san’s sensei to his adversary.
“Cobra Kai” is written and executive produced by the trio of Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg via their production company, Counterbalance Entertainment. Will Smith, James Lassiter and Caleeb Pinkett executive produce for Westbrook Entertainment along with Susan Ekins in association with Sony Pictures Television. Series (adult) stars Ralph Macchio and William Zabka also serve as executive producers.
The “Karate Kid” sequel series takes place over 30 years after the events of the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament with the continuation of the inescapable conflict between Daniel LaRusso (Macchio) and Johnny Lawrence (Zabka).
In addition to Macchio, Zabka, Kove and now Griffith, “Cobra Kai” also stars Courtney Henggeler (as Amanda LaRusso), Xolo Maridueña (Miguel Diaz), Tanner Buchanan (Robby Keene), Mary Mouser (Samantha LaRusso), Jacob Bertrand (Hawk), Gianni Decenzo (Demetri), Vanessa Rubio (Carmen), Peyton List (Tory), Dallas Dupree Young (Kenny) and Oona O’Brien (Devon).
“Cobra Kai” Season 3 recently landed four Emmy nominations, including for Outstanding Comedy Series.
TheWrap caught up with the “Big 3” of Heald, Hurwitz and Schlossberg just after the Emmy noms. We spoke about how a platform shift from YouTube to Netflix directly led to the third season’s critical acclaim. Also, we asked the guys about being nominated in the comedy category, and not the drama one.
“I think ‘Cobra Kai’ is part of the evolution of where television is at right now, where hourlong shows are becoming more comedic and half-hour shows are becoming more dramatic,” Schlossberg said. “We create the show that we feel is going to be the most entertaining. And sometimes that goes to comedic places, sometimes it goes to dramatic places. The reality is, shows are becoming more and more amorphous in terms of how you can label them. But the way that the different awards are categorized, it’s based on conditions. And right now, I would say the biggest difference between a comedy and a drama isn’t necessarily the intent of the artist, it’s actually just how long it is. Is it half-hour or is it an hour?”
We’ve always talked about this show in some ways as being like a ‘Better Call Saul’ for Johnny Lawrence,” he continued. “And ‘Better Call Saul’ itself is something that at times is just one of the funniest things. So it’s tough to label, but in a world where you have to figure things out right now, it all comes down to time it seems.”
“When we conceived of the show, our first thought was, this is a continuation of ‘The Karate Kid’ franchise, which is a drama. So we need to be true to the roots of the franchise,” Hurwitz added. “But we’re coming in through the ‘Cobra Kai’ angle and picking up with Johnny Lawrence, one of the most iconic bullies of the ’80s. And now he’s a loser. And now his life is upside down. And coming into it as almost like a ‘Bad Santa,’ ‘Bad Sensei’ way, where we’re entering this world through a new lens that has comedy at its core because of where we’re starting. We’re taking this character who is the bad guy and making him the underdog hero — but a flawed hero. An unfrozen caveman sensei, basically, who is still trapped in the past. And so that leads to all sorts of generational comedy and him not being aware of modern day.”
“So there’s a comedic core. Every writer in our writers’ room is a comedy writer. Our entire history is through comedy,” he continued. “But anyone who is a writer and understands the craftsmanship behind comedy knows that you need to have, especially in long-form television or storytelling, you need to understand drama, as well. So on this show, which we approach from a comedic standpoint, we are also approaching from a dramatic standpoint, as we do with any of the movies that we do. But sometimes you’re leaning into a scene where the All Valley Karate Board is joking around, bickering with each other. And then there’s other scenes where Miguel is falling off a balcony and you’re wondering if he’s ever going to wake up. So in life, there’s comedic moments. In life, there’s dramatic moments. And entertainment today kind of blurs a line in a lot of storytelling, whether it’s half-hour or hourlong.”